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CORRECTED-Brent falls below $114 as sluggish economy outweighs supply risk

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 2:20 AM ET

(Corrects paragraph 3 to say Brent on Tues hit highest since Sept. 17, not Sept. 18)

* Weak economic outlook, stronger dollar depress oil * NATO says plans in place to defend Turkey from Syria * U.S. crude stockpiles forecast to rise 1 mln bbls -poll * Coming up: API weekly oil inventories data at 2030 GMT By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Brent crude slipped below $114 on Wednesday after a 2 percent jump the previous day, with a cloudy economic outlook offsetting fears about disruptions to Middle East oil supply as a conflict between Turkey and Syria escalated.

A stronger U.S. dollar, as investors shied away from risk on concerns about a slowdown in global growth, also weighed on oil prices, making the commodity more costly for holders of other currencies.

Brent crude had slipped 67 cents to $113.83 a barrel by 0245 GMT, after a 2.4 percent rise on Tuesday to its highest since Sept. 17.

U.S. crude fell 62 cents to $91.77 a barrel. The dollar index rose 0.23 percent.

"There's definitely a little bit of profit-taking after such a strong session," said Ben Le Brun, a market analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney.

"The rising tension between Turkey and Syria is underpinning oil prices."

The two neighbours have repeatedly exchanged fire since last week after Syrian shells struck a border town in Turkey killing five civilians.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphic on WTI-Brent spread Graphic of 24-hr chart Brent analysis ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

NATO said it has plans in place to defend Turkey against attack from Syria, and will aim to provide assistance if Ankara asks for it.

"The geopolitical risk premium was boosted from mounting tensions between Turkey and Syria," ANZ analysts said in a note.

"This has increased supply disruption concerns, particularly if the Syrian conflict begins to hamper oil production in northern Iraq."

Tensions in the Middle East and delays to North Sea Forties loadings pushed Brent's premium to U.S. crude to its widest in nearly a year at $23.13 a barrel on Tuesday.

Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said the spread may have peaked in a support zone between $22.79 and $24.34 per barrel and could narrow towards $16 over the next four weeks.

GETTING WORSE

But the impact of supply concerns on prices was mitigated as investors this week turned to safe havens after the IMF said the global economic slowdown is worsening and cut its growth forecasts for the second time since April.

It warned U.S. and European policymakers that failure to fix their economic ills would prolong the slump.

"Oil has been falling as investors weigh supply risks against weaker demand," OptionsXpress' Le Brun said.

"A lot of growth expectations are being revised down, especially in China."

China's annual economic growth probably slowed for a seventh straight quarter in the July-September period to the weakest level since the depths of the global financial crisis, a Reuters poll showed, reinforcing the case for further policy stimulus.

Investors will also scour weekly oil inventories data from the United States to be released in the next two days.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast a 1-million-barrel build in crude stockpiles for the week to Oct. 5.

The API report will be released later on Wednesday and the EIA data on Thursday, delayed one day by the Columbus Day holiday.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Joseph Radford)

((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 3497)(Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS OIL/